Friday evening was opening night for Gay Hist-Orgy at the Long Beach Playhouse. I met up with some fellow students and we unanimously agreed that it was an entertaining and thought-provoking performance.
The first scene started with Ian MacKinnon (I feel like I need to write “Sir” before that) having an orgasm—er,wait—pretending to have an orgasm? To be fair, he faked so many and he was such an enthusiastic actor it was hard to tell. Several times MacKinnon expressed his desire to have sex with the men he was talking about. At one point I think he simulated sex while sprawled on the floor, but I couldn’t pay attention to him and the porn on screen at the same time.
Mr. MacKinnon’s play takes the audience on a sexy, “horny” journey through time and space to learn about various gay men and the infamy that surrounded them. The time machine was a psychedelic belt that, according to MacKinnon, vibrated on his balls. On screen, a magical genie acted as our tour guide and supplied information. However at some point a “virus” would attack the time machine and interrupt our time travel. A queer studies professor, who was our subconscious homophobia, told us we were reading too much into the letters, novels, and diaries of our assumed gay objects of study. Don’t worry though, by the end of the play we converted him to a fun-loving, gay “leather daddy” much like Ian himself. Part fact, part fiction, this little gem was a hoot and a holler from start to finish. That is no over-exaggeration. Mr. MacKinnon spends the entire play in the same leather, ass-less chaps and… studded harness? (I’m not sure what you call the buckle thingy around his chest.) If you don’t know either your best bet is to probably ask your friend who is into S and M porn.
My advice: see this play, preferably with a group of friends. MacKinnon loved audience participation and the more there was, the more we will enjoyed the play. Strangely enough, the audience Friday night was mostly senior citizens. If I can have fun with that audience, I imagine you could have one hell of a time with a bunch of youngsters. Oh, and kudos to the old people for not getting up and leaving halfway through the play.
The play unfortunately only had a brief stay here, but the good news is there are many upcoming shows in LA. Better yet, the LA shows have two parts! I just might have to clear some room in my schedule to see the continued adventures in Gay Hist-Orgy, Part Two.
For dates, show times, and tickets see gayhistorgy.com
Right On Queue
New Additions to Watch Instantly on Netflix
Vincent Chavez, Culture Editor
Andrew Haigh’s Weekend is that rare romantic comedy—one that is romantic without sap, humorous but devoid of punch lines. It opens with Russell, a reserved twenty-something Londoner, getting ready for a party with his straight friends. He heads out early and tries his luck at a gay bar where meets Glen near closing time. Their one-night stand branches into a weekend filled with sex, drugs, and breakfast.
It’s a simple set up, but Haigh captures the precarious affair intimately and honestly. The dialogue is so close to natural speech it gives the impression that the actors are improvising, making much of the film’s authentic tone is due to the actors’ completely believable chemistry.
One of my favorite aspects of the film is its unabashed gayness. The conversations about identity and sexuality are frank and the sex itself is both graphic and incredibly hot. That being said, I hesitate to classify the film as a gay movie. Weekend is as much about the gay experience as it is about the modern one. In a scene in which Russell texts Glen, the camera focuses on the phone’s screen as Russell types his message, considers it, and then edits himself. Would using an exclamation point sound too forward? Does the smiley face give off a hint of irony? Moments like this reveal Haighs intention: to create a movie that represents courtship in the twenty-first century.
Their fragile relationship isn’t meant to last, but every scene leading up to the end pulses with a strange mix of fear and excitement.
Chris Fabela, Comics Editor
A tale of man’s will to live in the face of seemingly insurmountable hardship, Lonesome Dove takes the Greek tragedy and sets in the glory days of the old west. The show, originally aired in 1989, is a six-hour long miniseries broken up into four episodes and tells the story of aging Texas Rangers Gus MacRae and Woodrow Call. The two longtime friends decide to embark on one last adventure and leave behind their home in Lonesome Dove, Texas, to drive cattle 3,000 miles to the unsettled wilderness of Montana. Through the course of their journey, the old Rangers and their companions are pushed to their limits, fighting Mexicans, Outlaws, Native Americans, and the elements along the way. The show is beautifully done, filmed almost entirely on location in New Mexico and Texas, with a cast of heavy hitters including Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Danny Glover, Steve Buscemi, and Angelica Houston to name a few. Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones play the hardened badasses of MacRae and Call respectively, taking guff from no one and never abiding rude behavior. The show has some excellent action (although there is a couple gunfights with the worst timed squibs I’ve ever seen) but at times is intensely emotional. In each episode at least one major character dies in a horrible manner. The show touches on the unforgiving Old West, while examining the humanity and flaws of supposedly great men of vision.